How to properly introduce this story..?
A little over two years ago there was an open-call to a children’s publication, centered around the theme of “letting go.” Instantly, my mind went to the world of teaching, because I’m a a teacher, as anyone who’s spoken to me can tell. Duh. While I didn’t finish the story in time for submission, I also felt the story didn’t match the magazine’s standards. The story didn’t center around the kid, rather focusing on the teacher’s emotions and journey instead.
I have one philosophy when it comes to teaching. If you’re an educator reading this, maybe it’ll work for you, perhaps it won’t, but it kept me moving through the years:
Do you know what the reward is for being a teacher? You get to be a teacher.
There’s a second, I don’t want to call it a philosophy, but let’s call it a mindset:
Being a teacher means you have to constantly say good-bye.
As an educator you’re blessed with a class of kids ready to learn and listen…NOW whether they actually learn and listen to you is totally up to your teaching style, obviously, but that’s a can of worms for another party.
You are given students to say good-bye to.
That’s an inescapable fact. Every year you break off a small piece of your soul to give to them, eventually knowing they’re going to take it and leave. But you have to, you know? Without doing that you’re only teaching with a half-drawn sword.
Sure, maybe they’ll come back and visit. Say hi. You can see how big they’ve gotten. But it’s never the same. Our job as educators is to give them everything we’ve got to prepare them for the real world, then send them on their way.
Then, and here’s the real kick to the chest:
You have to do it all again next year with a new group.
I’m going to publish the first part of the short story tomorrow, with each part coming out a week later. It’s called “McNiven’s Last Class.” Hopefully it expresses the love and passion I have for the classroom, even though I’m no longer there, and helps shine a light on the hardest part of the job.
All while flying battle angels attack a city in the trees.
Thanks for reading,